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Chinese Context and Theoretical Contributions to Management and Organization Research: A Three-decade Review

  • Liangding Jia (a1), Shuyang You (a1) and Yunzhou Du (a2) (a3)

In this study, we develop a context-emic model to evaluate articles which use the Chinese context for their theoretical contributions to management and organization research. We apply the model to 259 articles published in six leading general management and organization journals between 1981 and 2010 and 43 articles from Management and Organization Review (MOR) from its launch in 2005 to 2010. We found ten articles in the six leading journals and four articles in MOR to have some degree of Chinese contextualization in their concepts or constructs (what), their relationships (how), and tlie logics underlying the relationships (why). In particular, we discovered only three new concepts (market transition, network capitalism, and guanxi), and some reference to Confucianism and its related concepts. As expected, MOR articles have a higher level of Chinese contextualization than articles in the top six journals. Using the Colquitt and Zapata-Phelan theory-building-testing taxonomy, we found Chinese-context research to have contributed to both theory-building and theory-testing over time. We also found that empirical articles with a higher level of Chinese contextualization garner more citations. Finally, we discuss the implications of the study's results for future contextualization research related to China.

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